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6th Annual Korean Festival

The 6th Annual Korean Festival took place on Saturday, July 14, 2007 from 9am to 9pm at Kapiolani Park. Events included song and dance performances, including Korean pop recording artists Lee Kee Chan and Wax (how she got that name is beyond me). There was also a Korean song contest, a kim chee eating contest and Korean cooking demonstrations.

This was my first time attending a Korean Festival, to which I arrived about 5pm, just when Lee Kee Chan began singing. ..

A karaoke singer performs before just before K-Pop sensation Lee Ki Chan takes the stage

As with any cultural event, one of the key points of interest are the food, so with that, let’s take a look at the sites and smells at this year’s festival!…

Kim Chee

There’s no question Kim Chee was the star of the show. Just about every food booth offered it as a side dish, or implemented as the key ingredient to various dishes as you’ll see later.

And if there’s any other dish synonymous with Korean besides Kim Chee is Kal Bi!…

Kal Bi grillin’ on open flames.. the RIGHT way to do it!

Kal Bi and Kim chee

I’ll just take these two pans for myself and call it a night!

Korean Style pickled vegetables

This is what sets Korean food apart from the rest. The assortment of pickled vegetables offered at most Korean restaurants provide a wonderful balance to the meal. They’re often flavored with a red pepper seasoning, shoyu or sesame oil. Light, fresh and very tasty!

Korean Pickled Vegetables

Mussel Salad

Another popular Korean dish is Mandoo, which dumplings similar to Japanese Gyoza, except they’re deep fried instead of steamed and pan-fried…


Mandoo frying station

Pan of Mandoo

Yup, they’re popular…

THIS, I HAD to try!…

Kim Chee Hot Dog . 4 scrips.

Yes, a Kim Chee Hot Dog. This beast of a dog is made using a Kosher Sinai Hot Dog (the big Costco ‘kine), covered with no bean chili and a huge pile of Kim Chee. What did I think of it? Sorry, I didn’t like it. The Kim Chee is just too acidic to compliment the hot dog. You might like it though. Go try make one yourself and let us know what you think!

Then you have those Korean plates we’re all familiar with…

Kal Bi Plate with Kim Chee cabbage and cucumbers

BBQ Chicken Plate with Kim Chee cabbage and cucumbers

Korean Garlic Chicken, Mandoo and Kim Chee Fried Rice

Kim Chee Fried Rice Plate

4 typical Korean plates (marked with description). 1 scrip = 1 dollar.

These really nice ladies were selling just one item. It’s like mochi with Azuki Beans mixed in it, shaped like a little cake. So I bought one to try it…

Name? It’s like Mochi with Azuki beans in it

What did I think of it? Different. Not really flavorful on its own term, but I can see this working with something along with it. Maybe a beer? lol

Palama Market is a Korean supermarket with 2 locations in Honolulu. Anything and everything Korean can be found at this ethnic wonderland. Fittingly, they’ve set up a mini-store at the festival…

I didn’t walk up to this wagon for further inspection, but anyway, these guys were there…

Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood

With a paint job like that, they sure must get lots of curious folks stopping by to check them out! I was more fixated on the tent booths.

According to my friend who volunteers at the Okinawan festival every year, the Korean Chamber of commerce received alot of technical assistance from Hawaii’s Okinawan community when they first began organizing the festival at Kapiolani park. This is evident in the layout, entertainment and attractions, which are very similar to the Okinawan festival. Such as the bouncies to keep the keiki entertained while the adults roam the festival…

Bouncies for the keiki

Of course there’s more to culture than just food, and with that, like the Okinawan Festival, they also had a Cultural Exhibition tent. Following is a pictorial walkthrough of what was on display.

Cultural Exhibition (typo on that banner… oops!)

Alot of the displays didn’t have signs, or they were written in Korean, so please pardon my lack of describing what you’re looking at. I’m guessing what’s shown above is a table setting in a traditional Korean home.

Korean ceramics and pottery

Traditional Korean tools?

More tools ‘n stuff

This looks like something religious. Perhaps a Korean Bible?

Korean Masks

Traditional Korean garments…

Well, that was fun. Although the skies were cloudy, the turnout was high. I’ll certainly be back next year to support our fellow Korean community. Of course, I do that almost once a week eating at my favorite Korean restaurants! Hope you enjoyed my virtual walkthrough of this year’s Korean Festival as much as I enjoyed being there for you! And you know what? As much Kim Chee as I seen and eaten there, I still want more!

8 thoughts on “6th Annual Korean Festival

  • July 16, 2007 at 6:24 am

    oh…very nice. I love the pictures. (I can’t read Korean also, so I’ll just enjoy the show.:)

    the mochi looked good, but the mandoo looked better!! Good tour. Next time, the Okinawan Festival, right?

  • July 18, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Did you try the mandoo from the Mandoo Express tent? We always see their store on our way to Costco and I’ve wondered whether the mandoo is worth a special stop.

  • August 4, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Can you send Coco Puffs out to the mainland?

  • August 11, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Um, that’s not Lee Ki Chan. That was a contestant from the singing contest for amateurs…the concert started around 6:00pm.

  • August 18, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    The name for the “mochi” is on the proprietor’s sign: duek. Korean rice cake is unknown in Hawaii because of its weird romanization (duek? ddok with umlauts?) and because the best Korean rice cake preparations–stir fried in spicy sauce with crispy pork belly and kim chee or simply grilled, no red or black beans in either–are not readily available in Hawaii.

  • August 26, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    i guess the fair has improved since last year. when i went, i was pretty disappointed; i felt that i could get better food for a cheaper price by just going to my favorite korean restaurants. i was also mad cuz we tried some korean sausage from a church booth. of course before we bought we asked what was in it and they said, noodles… but didn’t mention the very important ingredient: blood!

    we also tried the mochi in spicy sauce last year but i am not a fan of that mochi.

  • August 26, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    oh, and i think the kim chee hot dog might work better without the chili. people put sauerkraut on hot dogs; i could see kim chee working the same way.

  • August 6, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Wow.. the kim chee hot dog looks deliciousssss… and also the Kalbi plater .. yumm yummmmm


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